A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:
Sunday at Los Angeles
Josesito Lopez W10 Saul Corral
Scores: 100-89 (three times)
Records: Lopez (35-7, 19 KOs); Corral (21-9-0, 12 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: In the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card, former world title challenger Lopez, 32, of Riverside, California, fighting for just the second time in the two years since suffering a sixth-round knockout loss to Andre Berto in an interim title bout, looked sharp in a shutout of Corral, 30, of Mexico. Lopez, giving credit for his performance to new trainer Robert Garcia, rocked Corral in the sixth round and punctuated the victory by knocking him down with a left hook during a flurry in the 10th round.
Alejandro Luna W10 Andrey Klimov
Scores: 98-92 (twice), 97-93
Records: Luna (22-0, 15 KOs); Klimov (19-4, 9 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Luna, 25, of Bellflower, California, hammered out the decision in an entertaining scrap against Klimov, 34, of Russia. Luna stunned Klimov at various points during the fight and also cut him over the left eye with an accidental head butt in the fourth round. Klimov, who lost a lopsided decision challenging then-junior lightweight world titlist Jose Pedraza in 2015, dropped his third fight in a row.
Karlos Balderas TKO1 Thomas Smith
Scores: 98-92 (twice), 97-93
Records: Balderas (1-0, 1 KO); Smith (3-5-1, 2 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: A member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, Balderas, 20, of Santa Maria, California, was a much-sought after prospect before signing with Ringstar Sports promoter Richard Schaefer. Balderas made his pro debut and did what he was expected to do, which is look impressive against an overmatched opponent in Smith, 29, of Dallas. Balderas blasted away at Smith with head and body punches throughout the opening round, after which he retired on his stool.
Misael Rodriguez W4 Brian True
Scores: 40-36 (three times)
Records: Rodriguez (1-0, 0 KOs); True (1-7-1, 1 KO)
Rafael's remarks: Rodriguez, 23, of Mexico, won an Olympic bronze medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and made his pro debut in a fight that was much tougher than expected. Although Rodriguez swept all four rounds, True, 25, of Los Angeles, showed great grit and determination and gave Rodriguez a bloody nose.
Three other highly regarded prospects also turned pro led by Freddie Roach-trained welterweight Eimantas Stanionis (1-0, 1 KO), a 2016 Lithuanian Olympian, who stopped a defenseless Rasheed Lawal (1-5-1, 0 KOs), 33, of Ventura, California, with a barrage of punches at 2 minutes, 35 seconds of the first round.
Junior welterweight Lindolfo Delgado (1-0, 1 KO), 22, a 2016 Mexican Olympian, dropped Luis Silva (3-10, 2 KOs), 30, of Mexico, with an uppercut in the second round before Silva's corner threw in the towel at 33 seconds of the third round.
Junior middleweight Money Powell IV (1-0, 1 KO), 19, of Fort Mitchell, Alabama, who would have been a top candidate to make the 2020 U.S. Olympic team, dropped Los Angeles' Todd Templeton (0-1) twice before getting the knockout with five seconds left in the first round.
Sunday at Osaka, Japan
Shun Kubo TKO11 Nehomar Cermeno
Wins a junior featherweight title
Records: Kubo (12-0, 9 KOs); Cermeno (26-6-1, 15 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Kubo, an unheralded 27-year-old southpaw from Japan, who had never faced anyone of remote note, took a huge step up in opposition and upset Cermeno, 37, a native of Venezuela fighting out of Panama. Cermeno's seven-fight unbeaten streak ended and he lost his secondary belt in his third defense. Kubo, who got knocked down with a combination in the seventh round, was ahead 95-94 on two scorecards and down 95-94 on the third card when Cermeno, who did not appear hurt or in trouble, surprisingly quit on his stool five seconds into the 11th round.
Saturday at Oxon Hill, Md.
Vasyl Lomachenko TKO9 Jason Sosa -- Full recap
Retains a junior lightweight title
Records: Lomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs); Sosa (20-2-4, 15 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: If you've watched Lomachenko fight, chances are you are running short on superlatives to explain how good he is. The 29-year-old two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist is a truly special fighter and viewed by many as greatest amateur in history. Now he is making an assault on his place as the best pound-for-pound pro fighter in the world. Lomachenko, who vacated a featherweight world title because he could not get any top opponents to fight him, defended his junior lightweight belt for the second time against Sosa, 29, of Camden, New Jersey, a legitimate top-10 fighter in the division and former secondary titleholder. But, as expected, he proved to be no match for Lomachenko, who opened the new MGM National Harbor for boxing and dazzled in a seemingly effortless destruction. Lomachenko, a southpaw, hit Sosa hard with a two-handed attack from all angles and barely got hit clean with anything in return thanks to his supreme defense and footwork. With Sosa taking a beating, trainer/manager Raul "Chino" Rivas wisely threw in the towel after the ninth round.
Oleksandr Gvozdyk KO3 Yunieski Gonzalez -- Full recap
Records: Gvozdyk (13-0, 11 KOs); Gonzalez (18-3, 14 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: On paper, this fight was to many the most competitive of the three on HBO's telecast. It turned out to be anything but as Gvozdyk, 29, a 2012 Ukrainian Olympic bronze medalist, destroyed Gonzalez, 31, a former Cuban amateur standout fighting out of Miami, in surprisingly quick and easy fashion. He handled Gonzalez in the first two rounds and then finished him with a pair of knockdowns and punishment in the third round.
Oleksandr Usyk W12 Michael Hunter -- Full recap
Retains a cruiserweight title
Scores: 117-110 (three times)
Records: Usyk (12-0, 10 KOs); Hunter (12-1, 8 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Usyk, a 30-year-old southpaw and 2012 Ukrainian Olympic heavyweight gold medalist, is typically a slow starter, as he was again against 2012 U.S. Olympian Hunter, 28, of Las Vegas. It was a highly competitive fight for about the first round and then Usyk with took over and dominated the very game Hunter in his second title defense. In a highly entertaining fight, Usyk landed many thunderous punches, but while Hunter wobbled several times he never went down until the 12th round, when referee Bill Clancy deemed him down when he sagged into the ropes, which had held him up. Usyk came within a whisker of stopping Hunter in the final round as he landed almost everything, but Hunter was determined to make it to the final bell.
Saturday at Manchester, England
Terry Flanagan W12 Petr Petrov -- Full recap
Retains a lightweight title
Scores: 120-108, 118-110, 116-112
Records: Flanagan (33-0, 13 KOs); Petrov (38-5-2, 19 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Fighting in his hometown, Flanagan, 27, retained his title for the fifth time as he outboxed dangerous Petrov, 34, the Spain-based Russian and former ESPN Boxcino champion. It was not the most crowd-pleasing fight but Flanagan put in hard work and relied on his jab to grind out the decision, though two of the scorecards appeared to be a bit wide. Nonetheless, Flanagan prevailed in a fight many thought Petrov, whose six-fight winning streak ended, had a real chance to win. An accidental head butt in the 11th round left Petrov with a nasty cut over his right eye. Flanagan would like a unification fight but may instead wind up taking on mandatory challenger Felix Verdejo (23-0, 15 KOs) next.
Liam Smith TKO10 Liam Williams -- Full recap
An interim junior middleweight title remains vacant
Records: Smith (25-1-1, 14 KOs); Williams (16-1-1, 11 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Smith and Williams, 24, of Wales, were due to meet for an interim title. When Smith, 28, of England, was 1½ pounds overweight on Friday that meant only Williams could claim the belt. With Smith winning the competitive fight it remains vacant and a rematch is likely after such a controversial ending. During an action-packed ninth round, a good one for Smith, Williams, already with a minor cut over his right eye, suffered a second horrendous cut through his right eyelid. Television replays showed it was caused by a head butt when Smith led with his head. However, referee Terry O'Connor did not rule it was caused by a butt, but it was so bad that Williams trainer Gary Lockett did not let Williams come out for the 10th round, giving Smith a very controversial knockout victory in a fight Williams was leading by one point on all three scorecards.
Saturday at Cancun, Mexico
Cristian Mijares W10 Tomas Rojas
Retains a lightweight title
Scores: 96-93, 96-94, 95-94
Records: Mijares (56-8-2, 26 KOs); Rojas (48-15-1, 32 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: In 2004, Mijares won a lopsided 12-round unanimous decision and the Mexican national junior bantamweight title from fellow southpaw Rojas. Thirteen years later and 15 pounds heavier they met again and Mijares made it 2-for-2, this time by competitive and bloody decision. Former unified junior bantamweight world champion Mijares, 35, and Rojas, 36, also a former junior bantamweight titlist, went at it hard during their rematch, during which referee Florentino Lopez docked one point from Rojas for hitting on the break in the 10th round, though the deduction fortunately did not impact the outcome.